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Submission + - McSweeney's Internet Tendency: In Which I Fix My G (

mikepost writes: This made me laugh for ages. True and funny. The first paragraph:

Lo, in the twilight days of the second year of the second decade of the third millennium did a great darkness descend over the wireless internet connectivity of the people of 276 Ferndale Street in the North-Central lands of Iowa. For many years, the gentlefolk of these lands basked in a wireless network overflowing with speed and ample internet, flowing like a river into their Compaq Presario. Many happy days did the people spend checking Hotmail and reading

Submission + - Corporate Hubris â" Ignoring Users 2 writes: Not to pick on youtube, as they're not the only ones guilty of this sort of behavior, but...

Got tired of youtube videos automatically starting and went looking for a way to disable it. Apparently so did lots of others. There are pages of people complaining that they absolutely HATE the feature, but nary a peep from youtube even acknowledging the complaint thread.

Companies hiding behind a curtain from their users. No phone number, No customer service (other than a one way drop box), No acknowledgement of user complaints/issues.

I know this is not new, but does it seems to be getting worse, or is it just me.

Submission + - Access TI's technical articles library easily and (

AtomicAdam writes: "It looks like TI is offering free access of articles written by their engineers. I'm not sure if this is a new site or if it's just TI trying to Rehash an old site as a new thing for PR. I was notified by TI via email. you can see the site in question here."

Submission + - Nokia N9 review (

Gsmpedia writes: "The Nokia N9 was one of the most anticipated devices to be announced this year but unfortunately it will not be available world wide. The Nokia N9 is a piece of history itself with the MeeGo platform that is the pinnacle of decades of innovations and development by Nokia but it's also the last time we'll see it."

Submission + - The Physics of Jump Rope (

sciencehabit writes: Last year, Jeffrey Aristoff and Howard Stone, mechanical engineers at Princeton University, were at the gym waiting for a pickup game of basketball. To warm up, Stone started jumping rope. As the rope whizzed over the head of his colleague, Aristoff wondered, "Is it known how jump ropes bend in the wind?" A few literature searches later, he concluded that the answer was, "not really." Now, the two have solved the problem themselves.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Handheld Linux Driven Radio (

An anonymous reader writes: This is an interesting little Linux device hosting a FPGA and broadband radio. I wonder if this could be made to run the open source GSM base station? I think once hardware likes this becomes more popular and even smaller, manufacturing for specialized wireless devices is going to go away. Just like the PC replaced specialized hardware, it sounds like something like this could certainly replace the need to have "hardware upgrades" or separate wireless devices when new technologies roll out. I would love it if my iPhone could get a software upgrade today to support LTE, but then again, that would only be good for me and not Apple.

Submission + - Still getting bit by Y2K bug. Why haven't we learn

unimacs writes: I work with data loggers of various types and I use perl to parse the information. I rely heavily on the str2time function to parse the timestamps. It works pretty well except that I was getting strange errors with a new logger file format I was processing.

It turns out that the logger was outputting dates like "9/24/11 10:27:30 AM". On my OSX development machine, perl and str2time (via timelocal) interpreted that date as September 24, 2011. On our linux production server, it was interpreted as September 24th, 1911.

Have we already forgotten that 2 digit years are no-no? Anybody else running into these kinds of problems?

Submission + - Playing Video Games Makes Kids More Creative (

XxtraLarGe writes: A study by Michigan State University finds that kids who play video games are more creative. FTA: "Not only are (video games) not all bad, there's some 'intellectual' good to be found in playing them," says the project's lead investigator Linda Jackson, a professor of psychology at Michigan State. "We are the first to look at creativity and technology use, finding that no other technologies except video games was positively related to creativity."

Submission + - 10k Raspberry Pi units available in December (

An anonymous reader writes: A tweet appeared from Raspberry Pi stating the launch of the $25 wasn't happening in November as expected. So I decided to investigate further and contacted Raspberry Pi to see what was going on. Eben Upton was kind enough to email me back and give us some good and bad news. The bad news is, we aren’t getting the $25 PC this month as expected. But that’s where the bad news ends as it is still arriving in 2011 for some people.

Eben confirmed that an order has been placed for 10,000 units, but they won’t arrive until the end of November. That means we will see Raspberry Pi go up for sale in December, but it won’t be a typical “get as many out the door as you can” launch. Those first 10k are earmarked for programmers as software is desperately required before a full consumer launch.


Submission + - Gecko-Inspired Robot Rolls Up Walls (

RedEaredSlider writes: "We all love climbing robots. A group of researchers in Canada has decided to combine the mechanism geckos use to stick to walls with the simplicity of a tank tread. The result is a 'bot that can roll up smooth (and some not so smooth) surfaces. Such robots are easier to control than those that try to simulate walking directly."

Submission + - Are You on the PwnedList? ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: 2011 has been called the year of the data breach, with hacker groups publishing huge troves of stolen data online almost daily. Now a new site called lets users check to see if their email address or username and associated information may have been compromised. Co-founder Alen Puzic, of HP/TippingPoint, said the project stemmed from an effort to harvest mounds of data being leaked or deposited daily to sites like Pastebin and torrent trackers.
Social Networks

Submission + - UK Online Safety Expert Exposes Pet Society as Dan (

FacebookNerd writes: Playfish might want to take a break from its London headquarters and head to Wrexham for a chat with Charles Conway. Conway, a self-touted "online safety expert," has been making his rounds in North Wales and North West England telling people that Pet Society is encouraging "stranger danger" in kids by exposing them to real-world contact with "murderers, rapists and paedophiles." .........
While Conway also names FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and CityVille in his lecture on Facebook games, he uses Pet Society's social features to build his strongest case. We've all known about the "Cafe" in Pet Society, a location in the game where everyone can go to show off their pets and their pets' homes.
Charles Conway Pet Society BunnyPig
Pet Society Go to ProfileBy being in the Cafe, you're bound to meeting strangers. Even though all you can do once you get to another pet's home is some pre-set actions (e.g. hug, kiss, dance, laugh, and punch), there's also the option to visit the real Facebook profile of a someone you might not know at all. Conway actually demonstrated this by creating an avatar named "BunnyPig" to demonstrate to a group of foster care and social workers.

Because Facebook games require players to have lots of friends to earn virtual money and goods, Conway concludes that kids will be tempted to friend strangers. And in turn, malevolent strangers can scope out kids who play the game. This "Go to profile" option is clearly a valid concern and does exist in the game.


Submission + - CSC sued by investors over failed $20bn UK health (

DMandPenfold writes: CSC is being sued by a group of investors over the failed NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), the world’s largest non-military IT programme.

The news comes as the company repaid the government £170 million after the parties failed to sign a memorandum of understanding by a 30 September deadline.

The supplier, which after taking over Accenture’s work on the programme had amassed a £3.1 billion contract, was in the summer heavily criticised by the Public Accounts Committee, which said its work on the programme was so disappointing that it may no longer be fit for any other government work.

Last month, the government officially ‘abandoned’ the project, following a Cabinet Office review that delivered a dire verdict. The government remains embroiled in a dispute with another supplier, Fujitsu, which quit the programme in 2008.

The investors suing CSC, led by Canadian fund the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, claim the company “fraudulently concealed” the performance of the contract from them, and that it knew over three years ago that the contract was “undeliverable”. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Submission + - Petition to abolish software patents (

qmuser writes: The White House site has a petition to abolish patent coverage of software. In my opinion, software patents have been abused, and are a considerable hinderance to small business startups and the open source software movement. If you agree, please sign the petition. Getting an account takes just a minute and requires a name, zip and email. See!/petition/direct-patent-office-cease-issuing-software-patents/vvNslSTq

Submission + - Belgian ISPS ordered to block The Pirate Bay (

cjpa writes: They have been ordered by a Belgian judge to implement a DNS blocking regime in relation to 11 links leading to The Pirate Bay and they will have 14 days to do so, or they will be risking a fine.

The case had been initiated by the Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (BAF). The parties involved have not yet commented on the verdict.

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